I-601 Waiver + Immigrant Visa = A True Success Story

Five years after being found inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), our client finally received her Immigrant Visa to join her U.S. citizen spouse in the United States. Consistent with normal processing time, USCIS took 10 months to approve her Form I-601 application for waiver of inadmissibility, which we prepared and filed on her behalf.

But due to the U.S. Consulate’s administrative delays and a Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from the client’s home country, it took almost three more years for her to get the visa.

In episode 13 of The Legal Immigrant, you will learn:

1) The U.S. immigration problem when you have a permanent bar under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), i.e., fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to obtain a U.S. immigration benefit. 

2) The two main solutions to receive an Immigrant Visa or green card (permanent residence) when you have a section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) inadmissibility bar:

a) A motion to reconsider requires you to have a factual basis, legal ground, and procedural means to get the bar removed.

b) Form I-601 waiver application under INA 212(i) requires you to have a “qualifying relative” who will face “extreme hardship” if you do not immigrate to the United States. 

  • A qualifying relative is the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent of the applicant. 
  • Extreme hardship must result to the qualifying relative if that person stays in the U.S. without the applicant or relocates to another country to be with the applicant. 

3) The type of documentary evidence and legal argument that are required to receive an I-601 waiver.  This includes medical records on any chronic medical conditions the U.S. citizen spouse (or other qualifying relative) suffers, and reports on lack of medical resources in the visa applicant’s home country. 

4) The outcome of a true success story, which included more obstacles and long delays after the I-601 was approved. Due to the U.S. Consulate’s 221(g) administrative processing and a 212(f) Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from certain countries, it took almost three more years for the applicant to get the Immigrant Visa.

The couple remained committed to one another despite their separate residences and long-distance relationship. Our client finally became a permanent resident after she was initially refused the visa under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law.

To hear more on the I-601 Waiver + Immigrant Visa success story, click HERE for Episode 13 on The Legal Immigrant podcast or find it on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts

To watch the YouTube video, click HERE.  

To read the transcript, click HERE

The Legal Immigrant provides general information only from Dyan Williams Law. Do not consider it as legal advice. Each case is different. Even cases that seem similar can have different outcomes. 

Have you been charged with fraud or misrepresentation? If you’re applying for an immigrant visa or permanent residence and have this lifetime bar, you need an I-601 waiver. Otherwise, if the bar was made in error, you might be able to get it removed through a motion to reconsider.

To receive advice on fraud or misrepresentation issues, you may submit an email to info@dyanwilliamslaw.com or online message at www.dyanwilliamslaw.com.

Dyan Williams, Esq. 

Founder & Principal Attorney
Dyan Williams Law PLLC
(612) 225-9900
info@dyanwilliamslaw.com
www.dyanwilliamslaw.com

Make Use of Good Anxiety

Is anxiety always a bad thing to get rid of?  

When is it a superpower you need the most?

How do you rein in anxiety to benefit from it?

We have all experienced anxiety on some level at various points in our lives. COVID-19 and the global response to it have brought massive changes and deep uncertainty since the start of 2020.

Before then, 90% of Americans in the room raised their hand when asked if they had experienced daily anxiety. Wendy Suzuki, a neural science and psychology professor at NYU, says that number has gone way up. But she reminds us that at its core, anxiety is really a protective mechanism. Like all emotions, it serves an evolutionary purpose and is key to survival. 

In episode 43 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) Anxiety is generally defined as worry over an imminent possible event or worry over uncertainty.

2)  Anxiety is a psychological and physical response to stress, which moves you into fight, flight or freeze mode.

3) Currently, 28% or nearly 1/3 of Americans are diagnosed with a clinical, anxiety disorder. Examples are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, and OCD.

4) Chronic anxiety weakens the immune system, contributes to heart disease, impairs brain health, creates indigestion, and makes us less productive. It causes negative plasticity in the brain, changes our biochemistry and raises blood pressure.

5) Good anxiety tells you what’s important, what needs attention, what you value, and what to avoid. By befriending anxiety, you can build resilience, patience, compassion and empathy, and leverage nervous energy to deal with challenges.

6) According to the Yerkes-Dodson curve, a bit of anxiety can put you in the optimal state to perform a difficult task. But just like fine wine and delicious chocolate, you can have too much of a good thing.

7) Four tools that Dr. Suzuki recommends for activating the parasympathetic, destressing part of the nervous system:

a) Deep Breathing – which includes the 4 x 4 box breathing method.

b) Movement – which includes a power walk outside or walking up and down the stairs. Cardio exercise for about 45 minutes, two to three times per week, gives the most benefits.

c) Joy conditioning – which is active recall and selection of memories of your most joyful experiences, especially ones with olfactory associations.

d) Social support – which you might need to choose carefully because certain relationships are better than others for certain purposes and in different contexts.

8) Why you need to create an enriched environment and escape impoverished environments for brain health and emotional wellbeing.

9) Approach anxiety with an exploratory mindset so you can harness it as a superpower.

10) Embracing good anxiety helps you to avoid toxic positivity and experience the expansiveness of your emotions.

Sources cited: 

To listen to episode 43, Make Use of Good Anxiety, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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How to Control Your Attention

Where is your attention right now?

Do you know how to refocus when it drifts off?

Do you know when to just stay open to what’s happening?

There are news stories and articles on how we have the attention span of a goldfish. You might have heard that with the Internet, we can now only focus for 8 seconds at a time. The good news is there are no studies to back this up.

There is also a common belief that we use only 10% of our brain. The entire brain is being used, but some parts are more activated than others. Having a peak mind is more about knowing where your attention is than whether or not you’re hyper-focused or hyper-vigilant. 

In episode 42 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1. We miss out on 50% of our lives because our attention is scattered and distracted.

2. In a given experience, moment or task, it’s important to ask yourself: Where is your attention now? Is it where you want it to be?

3. A wandering mind is not a real problem if you have meta-awareness or metacognition, i.e. to be aware of your awareness, or to pay attention to your attention.

4. The three different types of attention –
a) The Flashlight is when your attention is more singular, narrow and focused on a particular thing. It gives you privileged information, selects and filters out, and emphasizes content.

b) The Floodlight is when your attention is broad, receptive and open to whatever is happening now. It does not privilege any information, is open to inputs, and emphasizes time.

c) The Juggler is the manager and executive control system. It interprets the information from the flashlight and floodlight systems and determines whether your goals and behavior are aligned.

5. Even when you get rid of all the digital distractions, you will still have attention problems. Getting bored with a task, for example, can steer us toward online entertainment if we don’t know how to use boredom to our benefit.

6. Being distractable is human. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. We need it to avoid danger and predators. The capacity to mentally time travel is useful for thinking, reflecting, planning, visualizing, and dreaming.

But it also causes us to miss out on the moment, catastrophize about the future, ruminate on the past, or be preoccupied with things we don’t control. This can lead to high stress, anxiety, brain fog and depleted attention. So, you need to train yourself to direct your focus on where it has to be. 

7. Mindfulness training is key to developing your attention. Examples are:
a) Focused attention on the breadth
b) The S.T.O.P. practice (stop, take a breath, observe, proceed)
c) Open monitoring or open awareness meditation

8) Invest at least 12 minutes a day on mental training exercises to declutter your mind and develop your attention span

9) When you’re too focused, you miss the big picture and the context of the situation.  If you’re too open, you can become indecisive. 

You need to have all three systems in play to perform at your peak. The flashlight lets you keep your eye on the ball, the floodlight helps you to scan the field, and the juggler allows you to stay in and win the game. 

Sources cited: 

To listen to episode 42, How to Control Your Attention, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Get Bored Now, The Incrementalist, Ep. 41

Are you able to comfortably sit alone with your thoughts?

Do you look for external stimuli the moment you feel bored?

Does boredom make you less creative or productive?

Boredom is defined as a feeling of discontent with something that is dull, repetitive, tiresome or tedious. We prefer to stay away from anything that is boring to us. But boredom is largely a complex emotion that can have a very positive impact. It can make us more creative and productive.

In episode 41 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) In 11 studies, researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard University found that most participants did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think.

  • Participants preferred to do mundane activities like scroll their cell phone.
  • Some chose pain over boredom by pressing a button to give themselves an electric shock.

2) A March 2019 article in the Academy of Management Discoveries reported that boredom is a little-known way to boost creativity.

  • Study 1: boredom helped boost individual productivity on an idea-generation task.
  • Study 2: boredom manipulation increased boredom but did not trigger other negative emotions like anger and frustration, which makes boredom a unique factor in sparking creativity.
  • Study 3: boredom did not always improve creativity for a product development task. The participants needed to have a high learning goal orientation, high need for cognition, high openness to experience, and high internal locus of control to get more creative when feeling bored.

3) Boredom is a cause of divergence-seeking, exploratory tendencies. Feeling bored will drive you to change and do something different, seek challenges, switch to goals or tasks that better serve you, and motivate you to engage in unusual ways of doing things that are contrary to typical or predictable responses.

4) Doing nothing or sitting with your thoughts is hard when there’s so much to do and so much to pull your attention. But if you want to be more creative and productive, it’s good to experience boredom.

5) Being bored is not the same as purposeful, relaxation activities, such as yoga and meditation.

6) To experience true boredom, you could sit with your eyes closed, or look out the window, or walk a familiar route and let your mind wander. There is no music, no podcast, and no other stimuli to engage your senses. It’s just you and your thoughts.

7) Boredom is not a bad thing if you know how to use it as an opportunity for idea generation and creative breakthroughs.

Sources cited:

  • Timothy D. Wilson,, David A. Reinhard, Erin C. Westgate, Daniel T. Gilbert, Nicole Ellerbeck Cheryl Hahn, Casey L. Brown, Adi Shaked, Just think: the challenges of the disengaged mind, Science, July 2014, Volume 345, Issue 6192
  • Guihyun Park, Beng-Chong Lim, Hui Si Oh, Why Being Bored Might Not Be a Bad Thing After All, Academy of Management Discoveries, March 2019, Volume 5, Number 1
  • Dyan Williams, The Incrementalist podcast,  Ep. 12, Divergent vs. Convergent Thinking

To listen to episode 41, Get Bored Now, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT

12 Essential Things that Enhanced My Life

Can money buy you happiness?      

Are experiences always better than things?

Does minimalism make you miserable?

Some of the wealthiest people are the most depressed and saddest in the world.  Having too much stuff can be distracting and overwhelming. Less stuff brings more clarity, more space, and more freedom. Still, there’s nothing wrong with having shiny, new things.

You don’t want to depend on things to make you happy or to define you. But you also don’t want to feel guilty when you buy something you really want or will enrich your life somehow. 

In episode 40 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) Just because you can afford the newest version doesn’t mean you have to spend the money. You can instead save your money, invest it, or give it to a worthy cause.  That said, there’s nothing wrong with having shiny, new things. 

2) Material rewards can get you to do tasks and projects that are difficult or boring. While it’s better to have internal motivation and know the why behind a goal, sometimes you need a little boost from an external incentive. 

3) External rewards can be a way to practice patience. You replace impulse buying with delayed gratification. You will get the thing you really want only after you’ve met a certain milestone or taken a certain action step. 

4) 12 essential things that improved my productivity and enhanced my life – 

  1. Microphone with high audio quality: Shure MV-7
  2. Analog Alarm Clock: Orcbeg, circular vintage, lightwoodgrain no ticking clock
  3. Light-blocking sleep mask: MZOO sleep eye mask
  4. Writing pen: Uni-Ball Signo 307 
  5. Paper planner: Moleskin 12 Month Daily Planner, Large (5 x 8.25”)
  6. Milk frother and steamer: Miroco 
  7. LED Desk Lamp with USB Charging Port, Different Color Temperatures or Moods, and Brightness Levels, Auto-Off Timer, and Multiple Angle Adjustments: TaoTronics Desk Lamp model TT-DL16 
  8. Bluetooth wireless, mechanical keyboard: Keychron K2
  9. Ergonomic wireless mouse: Logitech MX Master 2S
  10. Advanced noise canceling earbuds: Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth 
  11. Paper tablet: ReMarkable 2 
  12. Ergonomic office chair: Steelcase Gesture

5) Some things do make you sleep better, work better and generally feel better. The right tools can reduce friction, make time, and save money in the long run. They can help you build good habits, enjoy life more, savor the moment, and get more focused.

To listen to episode 40, 12 Essential Things that Enhanced My Life, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT